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Woodcreek crushes Vintage 27-3 in week zero football opener

By: Ike Dodson■of the Roseville Press Tribune
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NAPA — It’s the mission of every prep football team in the Sac-Joaquin Section playing a week zero game; start the season strong.

Woodcreek High’s best player didn't wait long.

Malcolm Thomas, Woodcreek’s first team All Sierra Foothill League receiver, intercepted Vintage quarterback Jared Horn on the first play of the game and ran 35 yards for a touchdown Friday.

Thomas (six grabs, 143 yards) went on to catch two touchdown passes from Isaiah Harborth as the Timberwolves demoralized the host Vintage Crushers 27-3 inside Napa Memorial Stadium.

“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Thomas said of his game-opening score. “The ball got deflected in my hands. I went up the sideline, broke one tackle and no one was in my way.

“It was the best feeling ever.”

Woodcreek outgained Vintage 364-230 in total yards, but the Timberwolves were far from perfect. Woodcreek was penalized 12 times for 120 yards and saw three touchdowns called back on infractions.

“The kids played hard, just really sloppy,” Woodcreek coach Jason Stowers said. “We just got to fix some things.

“Our defense played really, really hard today and that’s what we expect from them.”

Woodcreek landed three quarterback sacks, the first a punishing blow by Connor Winters in the third quarter that sent Horn, a 2013 standout, to the bench with concussion-like symptoms.

Horn completed 11 of 22 passes for 150 yards, but his absence triggered a puzzling series of plays for the remainder of the game.

Down three scores with over 15 minutes to play, Vintage opted to execute 19 consecutive rushing plays until the game expired, effectively running out their own clock.

Harborth (11 for 21, 197 yards, two touchdowns) tossed four more passes during the same span of play. The dual-threat Woodcreek quarterback also ran for 36 yards. He found Thomas for a 12-yard score in the second quarter and converted on third and 15 with a 54-yard bomb to Thomas in the third.

Anthony Mahr (16 rushes, 90 yards) ran an 11-yard touchdown on Woodcreek’s first offensive possession.

Mitchell Houston nabbed a second-half sack for Woodcreek. Jared Rice picked up a big fourth-down tackle and also blocked a 33-yard field to close the first half.

Vintage needed a 47-yard school-record field goal by Jesus Rios-Vargas to get on the scoreboard. Their second team offense stalled at the Woodcreek four-yard line in the waning moments of the game.

Elsewhere in the SFL: Nevada Union stunned Placer 41-20, Del Oro slipped 25-17 to Kamehameha of Hawaii, Rocklin downed Pleasant Grove 34-10, Oak Ridge beat Whitney 44-19 and Folsom topped Cathedral Catholic of San Diego 55-10.

Roseville fell 31-28 to Chico after a last-minute score.

Woodcreek is at Casa Roble next week. The Rams beat Bella Vista 41-6 Friday.

Email Ike Dodson at iked@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Ike_Dodson.